Why the Tech Industry Needs International Women’s Day
In Australia, women currently account for just 29% of employees in the tech industry. Considering women make up almost half of Australia’s working population, a mere 29% is disappointing.
Organisations such as WomeninTech and IWD are working to amend this disparity, however long it takes. But the most significant changes are within workplaces, ensuring each Tech company has a welcoming and supporting corporate culture and seeks to empower women in the industry. I know what you’re thinking…how? We have a few ideas.
How to Empower Women in Tech
A large reason gender disparities in industries exist is that when forming ideas about their future, kids are often fed gendered job ideas implicitly or explicitly. A young girl watching Tech Bro after Tech Bro on TV discussing coding is not going to consider Tech an industry for her. Championing the few women currently in tech and creating more opportunities to highlight their work publically will allow a greater visual representation of women in Tech roles. Through this young girls are allowed to dream of themselves one day coding apps or creating AI in the same way the women pictured are. Empower Women in Tech to speak at more events, be louder on socials, and be part of marketing campaigns.
Getting girls around tech young is important, with organisations such as GirlsWhoCode showcasing the power of teaching young girls and women these skills early. As a workplace hosting a bring your kids to work event or open day during which children, girls and boys are invited to learn basic coding skills and discuss jobs in tech is a great place to start. It’ll allow you to engage girls in tech early, inspire future careers and enhance your reputation while you do it (it’s not the point but it doesn’t hurt).
3. Dismantle the boys club
Tech is known for having that ‘Boys Club’ locker room feel. This often comes with casual sexism, less confidence in female colleagues and creating an uncomfortable workplace for women. Tackling this culture is vital to ensure your workplace attracts and retains top female tech talent. This may involve training sessions and seminars surrounding casual and overt sexism. However, the most effective solution is creating a call-out culture during which staff members are encouraged and rewarded to speak up when they hear or see poor behaviour from their colleagues. This could involve simply telling the coworker they’re making someone uncomfortable or beign sexist.